Mughal Empire: Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun

As we have read that Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur established Mughal Empire in India. Babur had four sons. Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun (the fortunate) succeeded Babur. Humayun was the eldest son of Babur. He had three brothers, Kamran, Askari and Hindal. Humayun divided the empire among his brothers. So, Kabul and Kandahar were under the control of Kamran. And Sambhal and Alwar were given to Askari and Hindal.

Humayun's birth and celebration
Humayun’s birth and celebration

Reign of Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun

Humayun consolidated the Mughal Empire. In 1530, he got the throne of Delhi and Agra. His first achievement was the victory of Kalinger in 1531. In 1532, Humayun compelled Sher Shah Suri to surrender. But he simply took the Qutub Shah, son of Sher Shar Suri as a hostage. So, taking Qutub Shah as a hostage he left fort of Chunar in the hand of Sher Shah.

This was his blunder. I mean to say, it was irrelevant to conquer without consolidation. The same mistake was done by the Siraj-ud-Daula of modern India.

While Humayun was busy in eastern India. Bahadur Shah, a young ruler of Gujarat started to enter in Rajputana to expand his territory. Bahadur Shah encircled Mewar, which had a minor ruler as Rana Udai Singh. The entire management of the state was in the hand of Rani Karnavati.

Expedition of Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun

The Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun was alarmed due to the rising power of Bahadur Shah. So, he moved towards Chittor. According to a story, Rani Karnavati sent “Rakhi” to Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun. She asked help from him against the Bahadur Shah of Gujarat.

But unfortunately, Humayun neglected this on the advice of his religious teachers. So, in this way, he lost the opportunity of friendship with Rajputs. After this, he chased Bahadur Shah and occupied Gujarat. He handed over the Gujarat to his incompetent brother Askari.

So, before he could reach Delhi, Bahadur Shah recaptured the Gujarat. But Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun did not take it seriously and moved to Delhi. This was one more blunder of Humayun.

Sher Shah v/s Humayun

After the Gujarat expedition, Humayun left for Delhi. He constructed a new city Dinpanah, which had a famous library, Sher Mandal. Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun was fond of reading books. His sister Gulbadan Begum wrote his biography.

The crisis of Gujarat in which Humayun was fully involved, proved costly for him. Because as he was busy in Gujarat Expedition, on eastern front Sher Shah Suri occupied Bengal in the Battle of Surajgarh, 1538. As Sher Shah became the ruler of Bengal, Humayun was in trouble.

So, Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun moved towards Bengal. But then he became the victim of Sher Shah’s conspiracy. Dancer and opium of Bengal fascinated Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun. So he gave a new name to Bengal “Jannatabad”.

While Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun was enjoying in Bengal, Sher Shah strengthened his position in Bengal. But Humayun was awakened only when his brother Hindal declared himself as the Emperor of Hindustan or India. So, from here, Humayun started returning to the Delhi. But in the Battle of Chausa, 1539 and Battle of Kannauj, 1540 he faced defeat against Sher Shah Suri.

Humayun as Refugee

Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun in Exile
Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun in Exile

So, after the defeat in Battle of Chausa and Battle of Kannauj, Humayun somehow managed to escape. He became a refugee. He took the first shelter in the court of Rajput ruler Rana Virsal of Amarkot. Here, he met the love of his life, mean to say, his wife 😉 Hamida Banu.

For about 10 years, Humayun was in exile. But he came back when Sher Shah Suri died. He was an opportunist. So, he defeated later Surs in Battle of Macchiawada, 1555. Finally, he regained Delhi and Agra. But his success short lived for him. Because he stumbled on the stairs of library Sher Mandal and died in 1555.

We will discuss Sher Shah Suri and Sur Dynasty in detail in the next coming post.

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